Good Luck, Bad Luck: The Complex History of the Black Cat

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During the Halloween season, black cats can be seen as spooky Halloween costumes and scary decorations. Black cats are most commonly associated with witches, as we see in television shows and movies like Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Hocus Pocus. There is also the well-known superstition that it is bad luck for a black cat to cross your path. Yet considering a black cat is just a cat, how did black cats become associated with…

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What’s Different About The Shape of Water?

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When was the last time a mute character was the main character in a movie or T.V. series? When was the last time a female mute character was the main character? Almost never, until now. The Shape of Water, directed by Guillermo del Toro, has a mute female lead role, Eliza, played by Sally Hawkins. She also has a best friend, Zelda, who is played by Octavia Spencer. Zelda also often plays the role of…

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Education and a Controversial Miss America

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The annual Miss America pageant includes a question-and-answer portion in which women have twenty seconds to give a detailed response to questions related to national and global current events. The answers tend to be non-controversial, even if they do have strong private opinions about the topic. This year, however, Cara Mund, Miss North Dakota (and now Miss America 2018), along with many other contestants, did not follow in the same path. When Mund was asked:…

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Wabi-Sabi: How Perfectionists are Ruining Art

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This semester, I’m taking English 355, “Small Press Publishing,” with Professor Jo Van Arkel. I’ve been looking forward to this class since I saw it in the Drury course catalogue as a freshman. The nerd in me is loving every second of this class, and I’ve found that what we’re learning in there is also relevant to a larger conversation about perfection and process. The class is as much about navigating the waters of publishing…

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